‘Microsoft Open House’ Posts

HackCollege Interview: Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft

HackCollege Interview: Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft

an class="full-image-block ssNonEditable">Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. Image courtesy of Flickr user JD Lasica. Licensed under CC 2.0 BY-NC.

FTC Disclosure: Microsoft paid for my trip to New York, my hotel, and my food. Blogging is awesome!

It's a weird thing to sit down with $14.5 billion, but on Monday I did just that. As part of the Windows Phone 7 launch at the Microsoft Open House, I had the chance to sit down with Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, and ask him about the future of Microsoft's relationship with students--especially in light of their release of Windows Phone 7--the future of technology, and what students should be doing to break into tech fields.

We started off the interview talking about Windows Phone 7, as the press conference about the new phones had happened just a few hours earlier. Ballmer was, unsurprisingly, adamant that he thinks Windows Phone 7 phones are the best choice for college students. He said that user experience with Android phones is patchy--it's hard to know an Android phone is an Android phone when you pick it up--and iPhones only offer one model, ignoring that some people might want a QWERTY keyboard or different speakers. He's of the opinion that giving students a "consistently delightful" (yes, that's really the slogan) user experience over a variety of phones will draw them back from competing smartphone options. Whether that's true or not remains to be seen, but for middle-of-the-road users (people who don't want to root their Android phone and who want something more rugged than an iPhone), he may have steered Microsoft towards a winning strategy.